Nhava Sheva Mumbai

A consortium of Mumbai-based JM Baxi Group and CMA CGM subsidiary CMA Terminals has emerged as the highest bidder for a 30-year concession to privatise Nhava Sheva Port (JNPT)’s oldest container terminal, JNPCT.

The bids were opened this morning, according to port sources.

They also said the winning consortium had offered a revenue share (royalty) of Rs4,520 ($57) per teu for the landlord authority.

“[Qatar-backed] QTerminals became the second-highest bidder with an offer of Rs4,235 a teu.”

A port official told The Loadstar: “With a market-driven pricing system now being permitted for new terminal concessions, the new concessionaires are expected to charge users between Rs5,800 and Rs6,000 per teu.”

Six bidders, including MSC’s Terminal Investment, DP World’s Hindustan Ports and APM Terminals, reached the final stage of the bidding, which ended just a day after the Bombay High Court turned down an appeal by Adani Group, challenging its disqualification from the tender process.

The port had cited Adani’s coal terminal contract termination at Visakhapatnam Port in 2020 as the reason for its exclusion.

“We find no merit in any of the contentions urged on behalf of the petitioner,” the Bombay High Court said, rejecting Adani’s appeal.

JM Baxi recently acquired the 26% stake DP World had owned in a jointly operated container terminal at Visakhapatnam, marking its growth ambitions.

Under the original schedule, the JNPCT concession deal was to be signed in March, but delays around government security clearances had complicated issues and caused the slip in timing. The privatisation is part of a government programme to monetise stressed public port assets.

With prolonged under-investment and rising intra-port competition following the entry of private operators, JNPCT has suffered significant market share erosion as large customers have shifted calls. Year-to-date volumes at the state-owned terminal’s two berths were 440,000 teu, down 19% year on year.

And, as a standalone facility, JNPCT lacks the global network leverage to attract major container lines offering regular calls on major trades out of the country.

Nhava Sheva Port has four other container terminals, operated by APM Terminals, DP World and PSA International, and a project designed for 2.4m teu capacity a year is in the works as part of PSA’s two-phase investment at the port, known as Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals.

You can contact the writer at [email protected].

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